Quintin Alec-Manning must be feeling awfully lucky today. He could have been sentenced to 90 days in jail on Wednesday but instead won’t see one second of the inside of a jail cell.

He’s the guy who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty for an incident when he was 20 in which he ran over and killed 5 geese in a Toms River parking lot at Indian Head Plaza. The public was outraged after a picture of the dead geese was shown on Facebook. He was soon identified by police as the culprit.

Prosecutors wanted, and expected, a 90 day jail term. Instead Ocean County Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan sentenced Alec-Manning to two years of probation along with ten days of community service. He’s also not allowed to work with or own animals for the duration of his probation. That’s it. If the public was outraged before how much angrier will they be now?

But is it warranted?

Look, I’m not saying this was okay. But he was 20 at the time, not even considered mature enough to handle a beer. I don’t know the circumstances, but was this a blood lust or was it that this flock of geese wouldn’t get out of his way and he’d finally had enough and made a colossally stupid decision? I’m not saying that would make it okay. But I’d like to know more about the circumstances. And another thing. Geese are an incredible burden and nuisance in New Jersey. They’ve taken over corporate lawns and parking lots and gotten extremely aggressive. Companies are sometimes hired to, and allowed to, kill geese.

Also, had this happened on certain days in November or certain days in January and been done with a gun it would have been legal. We have a hunting season for geese. Yes, hunters follow the rules. I get that. But this moral outrage in this case almost feels like virtue signaling to me. Will people truly not admit to how nasty and dirty these geese are? They can be extremely aggressive. Their feces can be a source of bacteria and parasites.

Take emotion out of it and realize the public interest won’t be served by incarcerating this guy for 90 days. Watch him under probation for two years and if he screws up throw the book at him.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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